Resource of the month (October 2013) : Oxford African American Studies Center

Introducing a new monthly series featuring online resources for the University of Cambridge, Kasia Boddy of the Faculty of English writes:

An ever-expanding editorial project, the Oxford African American Studies Center is already an essential resource for those researching and teaching African American literature, culture and history. Edited by a leading scholar in the field, Henry Louis Gates, Jr, the AASC synthesises a huge range of materials from diverse primary and secondary sources: newspaper stories, speeches, all kinds of ephemera, as well as encyclopedia and dictionary entries, including American National Biography, and articles from OUP’s companions to, among other things, African American Literature and Black British History.

For teaching, I’ve also found the image archive (of over 2,500 images), timelines and collection of primary texts particularly useful. I also regularly refer students to the bibliographies on everything from ‘the Great Migration’ to ‘hip hop’ – many of whose items are linked in directly to the UL catalogue or other online sources. It’s very easy to navigate and find what you need.

In September 2013, the site began publishing a series of ‘Community Spotlights’ focusing on particular cities and regions. The first city to be considered is Atlanta, Georgia – just in time to send my students to read Booker T. Washington’s 1895 ‘Atlanta Exposition Address’ and consider how Ralph Ellison parodies it in his 1952 novel, Invisible Man.

Access the Oxford African American Studies Center on and off campus via this link.

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